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Illicit Vape Products, Vitamin E Acetate Linked to Vaping Illness

September 25, 2019

Over the past few months, more and more information has emerged regarding the vaping-related illnesses that have landed a reported 380 people in hospitals across the country, at the CDC’s most recent count. While information is still being gathered and no definitive determination about the precise cause has been made, health officials are seeing patterns that point to chemical exposure as the culprit, and there is growing speculation that the purchase of illicit, rather than licensed vaping products, is to blame, along with the additive vitamin E acetate.

Freedom Road is a licensed Colorado dispensary acting in accordance with all laws and regulations regarding safety. Our goal is to provide customers with the safe and effective cannabis products that help to improve their lives, and this includes vaping products that avoid unnecessary cutting agents like vitamin E acetate. Our products are tested rigorously for quality and safety to ensure that you always receive the best products.

Like many in our industry and across the country, we are shocked and saddened by the recent vaping-related illnesses and associated loss of life. Our hearts go out to the patients and families affected. It is our sincere hope that anyone considering purchasing illicit vaping products will turn instead to licensed and regulated dispensaries like Freedom Road that undergo testing to ensure safe and beneficial products.


According to pulmonologist Scott Aberegg, MD, MPH, of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, lipid materials have been found in patients’ lungs, leading to diagnoses of lipid pneumonia, but several lung disorders are possible. John E. Parker, MD, a professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine at West Virginia University in Morgantown, has posited that the recent illnesses likely fall into three categories: lipoid pneumonia, cryptogenic organizing pneumonia, and alveolar hemorrhage syndrome.


Although information about patients is still being gathered and coordinated, investigators have noted recurring themes among cases, including the use of black market nicotine and cannabis vape products, and consumers are being warned to avoid these unregulated goods. Another potential factor in vape-related illnesses seems to be the use of vitamin E acetate, an additive that helps to turn oil into vapor at high temperatures, but reverts back to oil when it reaches the lungs. Currently, cannabis testing labs across the U.S. are working to develop methods of testing for vitamin E acetate, and are calling for industry-wide testing standards.


It’s so important to purchase vape products only from licensed dispensaries that comply with standards intended to protect consumer health and safety. Freedom Road is pleased to partner with a range of reliable manufacturers, including Evolab, O.Pen, The Lab, Feather, and others that have issued statements assuring consumers that they do not use vitamin E acetate or any other potentially harmful cutting agents in their products.

At Freedom Road, the health and safety of our customers is a top priority, which is why we control our processes from end-to-end and test for quality and safety. We value our community and urge consumers to practice safe consumption by purchasing reliable products from licensed dispensaries.